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Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons shine. Sixers win opener 113-107 vs Wizards

The Philadelphia 76ers started 2020-21 NBA season in the win column last night, defeating the Washington Wizards 113-107. Doc Rivers’ coaching debut wasn’t exactly a walk in the park, but a strong 4th quarter in which the Sixers outscored the Wizards 40-24 secured the win.

Joel Embiid scored 15 points in the 4th on his way to a 29 point, 14 rebound game on 10-17 shooting. Embiid’s presence in the paint got him to the free throw line where he hit 8 of 9 attempts. He wreaked havoc against opposing bigs Thomas Bryant and Robin Lopez.

Ben Simmons was all over the court and made his mark on last night’s win in several different categories. He finished with 16 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals. Simmons was rock solid defensively and targeted mismatches on the offensive side of the floor.

The Sixers got exactly what they needed from their two all-star players. Outside of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, Shake Milton picked up right where he left off in preseason, scoring 19 points to lead all bench players and was second behind Embiid in scoring for the Sixers. His backcourt pairing in Tyrese Maxey continued to look electric getting 6 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists in 11 minutes.

Tobias Harris was the main point of controversy tonight for Philadelphia. The 180 million dollar man had only 10 points shooting 3/13 and 0/4 from deep. At times, it looked like Harris struggled to keep up with the pace offensively and tried to do too much instead of getting the ball to players like Simmons and Embiid, who were having successful nights on the floor. The Sixers do not need a “Tobias Harris” problem. We’re only one game into the season so it’s certainly too early to tell if that’s the case.

For Washington, Bradley Beal led with 31 points and Russell Westbrook had 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 15 assists getting his first triple-double of the season.

Next Up: The Sixers will head to the Big Apple on Saturday, December 26th, to face the New York Knicks.

Merry Christmas.

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Writer for The Liberty Line, Host of The Flyover Podcast. You can follow me on Twitter @JackPConnell

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